EIB approves 85-mln-euro loan for renewable energy investment on Greek islands

epa02773679 An exterior view of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Headquarters in Luxembourg, where Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon and Philippe Maystadt, the President of the European Investment Bank, withe their delegations met for talks, on 10 June 2011. EPA/NICOLAS BOUVY

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will approved an 85-million-euro loan to fund renewable energy projects of PPC Renewables, making it the largest ever support for renewable energy investment in Greece by the EIB.

The funding will support both the repowering of wind parks and small hydropower stations and construction of new hydropower plants and wind parks across the country.

The new renewable energy program will support investment at small scale wind farms at sites across the country, including on the islands of Cephalonia, Chios, Lesvos, Crete, Mykonos, Samos, Evia, Limnos, Karpathos, Ikaria, Tinos, Psara and on the mainland in Karditsa.

This includes repowering of existing wind farms, some of which have been operational for more than 25 years, as well as construction of small scale wind farms at new sites. Additionally, the new renewable energy program will support the repowering of two old small hydro-power stations, (one located in Arta -the Louros projec- and one located in Vermio, northern Greece as well as two new small hydro power stations, one located in Smokovo and the other in Makrohori, central Greece.

Once complete, the new scheme will increase generation of renewable energy in Greece by 90MW and make a significant contribution to both national and European renewable energy objectives, EIB said in a press release. Development, construction and operation of the individual renewable energy projects are expected to be completed over the next two years.

“New investment in renewable energy is essential to cut carbon emissions and support for renewable energy investment is a priority for both the Greek government and the European Investment Bank. The EIB is pleased to expand our long-standing partnership with PPC to harness clean energy across Greece through this first engagement with PPC Renewables. As the EU Bank, the EIB supports climate related investment worldwide and this scheme is already being examined by others as a model to demonstrate the potential of renewable energy on small islands,” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.

“This loan will bolster the generation of electricity from renewables in mainland Greece and on the islands. It will also support the change of the energy mix generated at Group level and will make energy supplies in Greece more sustainable and more secure. The PPC Group has an excellent long standing cooperation with European Investment Bank, since 1963, building a relationship of trust. Today, EIB’s financing to PPCR, under the current challenging financial conditions, underlines EIB’s catalytical role to boost investment in renewables,” said Manolis Panagiotakis, Chairman of PPC Renewables.